Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis will become the first Republican to file his candidacy for South Carolina’s GOP presidential primary when he visits the Palmetto State next week.

DeSantis, according to his campaign, will file the paperwork on Tuesday at the state GOP headquarters in Columbia, the capital city of South Carolina.

DeSantis will make his candidacy official during his third campaign swing through South Carolina, where Republican hopefuls have been stumping for more than a year. On Monday, he is expected to stop in Tega Cay, an affluent community on Lake Wylie along the state line with North Carolina.

After he signs his candidacy paperwork, DeSantis plans to make a policy rollout in Columbia, the details of which the campaign did not immediately release. It will be DeSantis’ second policy announcement, following his immigration proposals — which call for ending birthright citizenship and finishing construction of the southern border wall — outlined during a June visit to a Texas border city.

The South Carolina trip comes on the heels of a Friday GOP gathering in Iowa, where DeSantis and other hopefuls — but not former President Trump, the field’s current frontrunner — were set to appear at the Family Leadership Summit.

It is one of many events that will be held in Iowa in the coming weeks as voters begin to more seriously consider their options in the remaining six months until the leadoff caucuses, and the sprawling field of Republican presidential candidates works to build bases of support to challenge Trump’s early lead in the field.

South Carolina is set to hold its GOP presidential primary Feb. 24. The state, which also boasts two homegrown 2024 candidates of its own — former Gov. Nikki Haley and Sen. Tim Scott — is critical for Republican presidential hopefuls and has been a strong base of support for Trump in his previous campaigns.

Aside from his visit to South Carolina, DeSantis also has plans to travel to Southampton, New York, next week for a private meeting with donors.

Fox Business senior correspondent Charlie Gasparino was told DeSantis, who has stalled in polls, will face questions from major East Coast donors during the meeting about the viability of his campaign. DeSantis is reportedly planning to tell donors he is playing the ‘long game’ against Trump.

People close to DeSantis, and the governor himself, are telling donors concerned about the polls to ‘ignore the noise’ and that media Democrats ‘are just making trouble so that Trump is the nominee’ and President Biden wins again because of Trump’s perceived baggage.

Most of the Republican congressional delegation from New York has so far resisted endorsing either Trump or DeSantis. A recent DeSantis fundraiser in Rockland County, New York, drew some organizational woes among local party leaders last month, and the venue was shifted from Republican Rep. Mike Lawler’s district, which remains a key Democrat House target in 2024.

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace, Charlie Gasparino and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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